Super Bowl-Bound Ravens Never Lost Hope During December Darkness
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The Ravens came out of a three-game losing streak to make it to the big game in The Big Easy.
Stan Saunders takes a look back at how the team worked through a difficult time this season.
December started off rough for the Ravens with consecutive losses to the Steelers, Redskins and Broncos. But as fate would have it, their lowest point became a turning point.
From there, like a phoenix, the purple birds rose from the ashes to win the AFC Championship and claim their spot in Super Bowl XLVII.
With Joe Flacco facedown on the field during a loss to the Denver Broncos on Dec. 16, a Super Bowl appearance seemed to be a long shot at best. But the Ravens never lost faith.
“It was very natural for us to believe it. It was impossible to get you guys to believe it,” Coach John Harbaugh said. “I think that’s understandable. You gotta be on the inside of a team to get a feel for where a team’s at and how they’re thinking. We were improving all the way through bouts of adversity we were facing. Our team was staying together. We’ve got great leadership.”
Most fans think of Ray Lewis when it comes to leadership. The Ravens’ strength goes much deeper than just one player.
“You have 53 leaders on this team,” said Bernard Pollard, Ravens safety. “Yes, Ray Lewis is the guy that everybody knows around Baltimore. But when it’s all said and done, you got 53 leaders, 53 guys that’s showing up to practice and doing great things.”
Ravens players mention the work ethic the coaches have instilled, and it’s those long days in practice from July until now that has fueled the Ravens’ run to the Super Bowl.
“We come to work; we work. There’s no easy days here, and that’s a good thing. We work as hard as we can and get as good as we can,” said Matt Birk, Ravens center.
“I love their approach. I love their combativeness, their feistiness, and I like how much they care about each other,” Harbaugh said. “I love how much they fight through adversity. It’s a team in every sense of the word.”
The Ravens punch the clock and get back on their Owings Mills practice field Thursday. There they’ll work out for three days before boarding the wings of man and soaring on to New Orleans.
The Ravens will take on the 49ers in a Super Bowl game you can see on WJZ-TV. We’ll bring your complete coverage leading up to and including the game on Feb. 3.
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